The future of services for Westbury’s young people, the latest on proposals for a community campus in the town, future plans for allocating social housing, and what happens next after the recent ‘What Matters to You’ event – plus other issues of interest to local people – these will all be under discussion at the meeting of the next Westbury Area Board on Thursday 10th April, at the Laverton, Bratton Road, at 7.00pm.
Sally Hendry, community area manager, says that if you want to find out what is happening in Westbury now is the time to come along, hear what people are saying and help shape Westbury’s future.
Of particular importance, is the future of youth services in the town including the future of Westbury Youth Centre.
Time is running out for the town to answer Wiltshire Council’s consultation, which ends on 14th April, about their plans to change the way services for young people are provided. Wiltshire Council is carrying out the consultation to hear from communities – particularly young people themselves.
Their 10-week public consultation was launched at the beginning of February and Wiltshire Council says they have sent teams to visit schools, listening to young people at focus groups, talking to staff, voluntary organisations and local communities, and attending area boards to get vital feedback on the future of youth services.
Wiltshire Council has come up with four options for the future of services for young people. Those coming to the area board meeting will get the chance to hear from the young people themselves and to ask questions about what any changes might mean in the community. You can also find out more and have your say about the ongoing consultation at www.wiltshire.gov. uk/council/consultations.htm
What Matters to you
Also at the meeting will be the chance to find out more about the recent ‘What Matters to You’ event which saw local people coming up with a range of projects and ideas on how to solve Westbury’s community issues.
Among the priorities under discussion will be how to tackle anti-social behaviour of adults in the evening and young people in the day time; identifying land that can be made available for community benefit; addressing issues of air quality; improving the availability of cycle routes in and around Westbury; improving traffic flow on the Warminster Road; fighting poverty and obesity in young people; improving education and employment aspirations of schoolchildren and working to bring some of the empty homes back into use.
Some of the statistics outlined at the event showed Westbury faces some serious issues from high rates of childhood obesity and domestic violence through to child poverty and the meeting will look at ways to combat these problems. The area board will be discussing the event and its results and pledging to take action.
The area board meeting will also have news about how the council plans to allocate social housing in the future. That will include how people are banded according to their need for homes and what factors are considered in who gets housed.
Other local issues at the meeting will include a presentation on Healthwatch and news about other issues raised by local people.
Cllr Russell Hawker, chairman of Westbury Area Board said, “The area aboard meeting on Thursday will highlight our newly identified key priorities, as selected by those who attended the recent “What matters to you” event, and will identify the first of several projects which we as the area board hope to start work on right away. We will then be speaking to our partners about what they intend to do, perhaps in partnership with the area board, especially on issues where they need to provide a lead.”
The meeting will also feature a change in the line-up of the area board since the last meeting. Jerry Wickham has been elected as the councillor for Ethandune, representing the villages around Westbury.
The idea of the local area boards was for Wiltshire Council to come out to the community, in order to encourage local involvement and be accessible for everyone to come along and have their say. Refreshments are available from 6.30pm and the meeting starts at 7.00pm. The full agenda can be seen at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/areaboards
• The area board has almost £40,000 to give away in grants this year and is looking forward to welcoming applications for community projects. Grants up to £5,000 are available. More details and an online application form are available at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/areaboards or you can contact your local councillor or the community area manager on 01225 718627.